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Today our adventure begins in a place that houses people’s dreams, for its landscapes’ beauty, the enchanting beaches, the uncontaminated and wild nature. A place where the shore of the crystal clear sea is a few steps away the thick and verdant forest, and where the gaudy colours of the flowers fill the eyes. A place that preserve the tradition of the past, and customs and symbols of the ancient nuptial ceremonies: flowers’ garlands… hula… the blowing of the shell… welcome to the Hawaiian wedding.

The element that most of all represents the Hawaiian culture is of course the garland, called Haku Lei, a traditional floral composition, formed by about 50 flowers connected with a ribbon. It is worn around the neck or on the head to celebrate a special occasion or donated as symbol of affection. During the nuptial ceremony, the bride wears the Haku Lei in substitution of the voile, realized with pikake (white jasmine), tuberoses or ginger’s white flowers. The groom wears instead a garland made by maile’s leaves, braided with white jasmine or tuberose’s flowers.

The wedding ritual begins with the triple blowing of the Pu, or conch shell. This gesture pay homage to Christianism, considering that the three sounds represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and so the intention of the couple to follow the Christian values in their new home. The ceremony is celebrated by a kahuna pule (minister), who formalizes the bond of the couple uniting their hands with a maile’s leaf.

Another typical symbol of the Hawaiian archipelago is the hula, an ancient and sacred dance that expresses feelings or tells a story. In the traditional ceremonies, the type of hula was chosen in order to narrate the story of the couple; but nowadays the hula is just a form of entertaining.

After the ceremony they celebrate the wedding reception, called luau. The main course of the party is the kaula, pork cooked for an entire day in an underground oven. Other typical dishes are: poi (colocasia esculenta’s root pasta, similar to the potato), kufolo (a custard of colocasia esculenta and coconut), lau lau (pork, beef or fish, salted and rolled up in ti’s leaves), poke (seasoned raw fish and algae), tropical fruit and more meat, poultry or dishes based on seafood. During the entire party the typical music, with drums, guitars and ukuleles, makes the atmosphere happy.

I’ll be expecting you next month with a new ritual around the world ?

Big hug!

Well…

Aloha!

Desirée – wedding planner

wedding@graceevent.net

 

It doesn’t matter what kind of movies or tv shows do you like most, you must have seen it once! And probably, it made you daydream, giving you inspirations and ideas or simply sighs of adoration! I’m really talking about it… the American wedding!

Ceremonies on the beach, exotic garden and luxury hotels. Brides that arrive aboard a carriage or a Harley Davidson. Unchained receptions until late at night which involve dj, band, dance crew, fireworks, caricaturist, magician and invite with innate talent as comedian, dancer or singer (or stripper!).

Joking aside, it’s obvious that in the States the marriage is an event to celebrate grandly and often, if the economic conditions allow it, it lasts also more days. Think about, for example, at the famous bachelor or bachelorette party, organised respectively by the best man and the maid of honor, who will be the two people that, more than everyone else, will help groom and bride organising the wedding. This is the reason why usually this role is given to best friends or siblings.

Another typical tradition that precedes the wedding day is the wedding rehearsal, during which all the fundamental moments of the ceremony are coordinated, such as the entrance of bride and groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen.

After the wedding reharsal, usually the night before the wedding, they organize the reharsal dinner. Bride and groom reunite some of the guests, generally close friends and relatives, in order to thanks them and, if they didn’t before, to make them meet, so they all can spend a pleasant night together. Activities generally include toasting (or roasting), from roast, a form of American humour in which a specific guest, is subjected to jokes at their expense, intended to amuse the rest of the “audience”.

Ceremony doesn’t consider a unique and specific ritual: because of the large amount of different culture which coexist in United States, it’s not rare the bride professes a different religion than the groom. In these cases, or they choose one of them, or the wedding is officiated by a state official. Of course there is nothing to prevent them to celebrate two ceremonies!

For the reception there are many possibilities and obviously they choose location and method considering style, theme and most of all financial means. Often bride and groom don’t stay until the end of the party, but they prefer to leave for the honeymoon in the middle of the reception. In this case the parents say goodbye to the guests and donate them the party favors. But if they prefer to greet and thank the invite in a very special way, they organize a brunch the morning after the wedding.

If you are curious to know more about the American traditions, don’t hesitate and contact me!

I’ll be expecting you next month with a new ritual around the world 🙂

Big hug!

Well…

XOXO

Desirée – wedding planner

wedding@graceevent.net

 

 

Images from: Pinterest

Our travel throughout the rituals around the world continues, leaving Japan and moving to India, a country symbol of fascination, extravagance, uncontrolled dances, gaudy colours and spiced aromas.

The celebration of Hindu wedding is characterized by a sequence of rituals, in order to wish good luck and prosperity to bride and groom, and to unite the family too, which after the marriage will share an indissoluble bond.

Two or three days before the wedding they celebrate the Haldi ceremony: during this celebration the guests apply a paste based on curcuma,  chickpea’s flour, sandalwood and roses’ water on bride and groom’s hands, foot and face, in order to light up their skin and wish them good luck.

The day before instead, just like a bachelorette party, the bride with her female friends and relative decorate her hands and foot with hennè, within a technique called Mehndi, to celebrate the journey to the marriage. At the same time a Mandapa, a big gazebo, is built and decorate with flowers in the location chosen for the celebration of the wedding.

The ceremony starts with Baarat, the groom and his family’s arrival, that is honoured by the bride’s family during the Milni ritual. In this ritual each participant receive a marking on their forehead with red kum-kum, a powder based on curcuma and saffron.

After the families’ encounter and the adoration of Ganesha, the destroyer of all the obstacles, bride and groom go to the altar.  The groom is the first person who enters and drinks a celebrative beverage. The arrival of the bride, dressed with the traditional sari, is called Kanya, and when she is near the groom they exchange the flower garlands, in a ritual called Jai Mala.

During the Kanya Danam ceremony, the bride’s father gives custody of her daughter to the groom, who promises to assist the girl in the realization of the three sacred nuptial objective: Dharma, Artha and Kama. At this point the Vivaaha-homa begins. It consists in the lighting of a sacred fire, essential element in the principal and central part of the ritual: Saptapadi (seven steps around the fire), in which the couple makes seven steps around the fire, each of them accompanied by a prey and seven promises. In the end the groom ties around her wife’s neck the mangalasustra, a necklace with the symbols of Shiva and Vishnu, that represent the emblem of married woman. This condition is also emphasized by the Sindoor, a red powder that the groom apply on his wife’s central parting and forehead.

The nuptial ceremony concludes with the Aashirvaad: groom’s family offers gifts to the bride and the guests throw flowers’ petals towards the new couple, that after the reception reach their home bringing with them, in a brazier, the sacred fire in front of which they get married.

If you’re curious to discover other traditions of Indian culture, just write to me!

I’ll be expecting you next month with a new ritual around the world ?

Big hug!

Well…

नमस्ते

Desirée – wedding planner

wedding@graceevent.net

 

 

Images from: Pinterest

Imagine a temple in gaudy colours… wonderful cherry blossoms… an ancient and evocative melody… Imagine the smell of tea… an intimate and solemn atmosphere…  bride and groom in kimono…                                                 Imagine a place whose culture, so suggestive and fascinating, inspired movies, theatrical works, books, that we all heard about. Well… if you’re imagining that… you’re already part of a Japanese wedding ritual!

Actually, because of the different cultures that coexist in Japan, there’s not an only ritual which is valid in all the country; however the shinto ceremony is one of the most common, austere and full of symbolism. Shinto wedding is celebrated in a temple, where the bride, hanayome, and the groom, hanamuko, sit together, in the middle of the room, in front of the minister. Near them just the nakōdo, an elderly couple of acquaintances with the function of mediator between the bride and groom’s family. Parents and relatives sit at the sides of the room, quite distant, while the other guests wait outside.

The culminating moment of the ceremony is the san-san-ku-do, literally “three-three-nine-times”, that consists in the exchange of nine cups of nuptial sake between bride and groom, who finally go to the sanctuary’s core in order to offer to the kami the sacred sakaki’s twig.

Another typical ceremony in Japan is the Tea Ceremony (cha no yu – “hot water for tea”), a ritual created in XVI century by the Buddhist Zen monk Sen no Rikyū, which consists in the preparation and presentation of matcha, green tea that is pulverized and blended with hot water using chasen, a specific bamboo whisk.

This ceremony is usually divided into three moments: kaiseki, light meal eaten before tea; koicha, thick tea; usucha, light tea, the only moment that is generally celebrated because the entire ceremony would be too long. The usucha is celebrated by a geisha who prepares tea following and elaborated code of etiquette, and then offers it to the bride, the most important guest, to the groom, and in the end to the other invites.

The uniqueness of these rituals is emphasised by the traditional clothing of the bride and the groom. The groom wears the aori kahama, the samurai’s long pleated skirt with the black kimono-jacket. The bride wears instead the shiromaku, a sumptuous white kimono in brocade, symbol of pureness and availability to start a new life, meaning underlined also by the white hat, called tsuno-kakushi, wore upon the hairpiece.

This is just a part of the wonderful wedding traditions in Japan. If you’re interested to receive more info, contact me on e-mail or facebook!

I’ll be expecting you next month with a new ritual around the world 🙂

Big hug!

Well…

体に気をつけてね

Desirée – wedding planner

wedding@graceevent.net

 

 

 

Images from: Pinterest